What’s up, Albert?Well, I’ve done inventory at Ralph’s and I think if I had a lot of help, I could put together an okay Thanksgiving dinner.Sam stared at him. He blinked. What?Thanksgiving. It’s next week.Uh-huh.There are ovens at Ralph’s, big ones. And no one has taken the frozen turkeys. Figure two hundred and fifty kids if pretty much everyone from Perdido Beach shows up, right? One turkey will feed maybe eight people, so we need thirty-one, thirty-two turkeys. No problem there, because there are forty-six turkeys at Ralph’s.Thirty-one turkeys?Cranberry sauce will be no problem, stuffing is no problem, no one has taken much stuffing yet, although I’ll have to figure out how to mix, like, seven different brands and styles together, see how it tastes.Stuffing, Sam echoed solemnly.We don’t have enough canned yams, we’ll have to do fresh along with some baked potatoes. The big problem is going to be whipped cream and ice cream for the pies.Sam wanted to burst out laughing, but at the same time he found it touching and reassuring that Albert had put so much thought into the question.I imagine the ice cream is pretty much gone, Sam said.Yeah. We’re very low on ice cream. And kids have been taking the canned whipped cream, too.But we can have pie?We have some frozen. And we have some pie shells we can bake up ourselves.That would be nice, Sam said.I’ll need to start three days before. I’ll need, like, at least ten people to help. I can haul the tables out of the church basement and set up in the plaza. I think I can do it.I’ll bet you can, Albert, Sam said with feeling.Mother Mary’s going to have the prees make centerpieces.Listen, Albert…Albert raised a hand, cutting Sam off. I know. I mean, I know we may have some great big fight before that. And I heard you have your fifteenth coming up. All kinds of bad stuff may happen. But, Sam—This time, Sam cut him off. Albert? Get moving on planning the big meal.Yeah?Yeah. It will give people something to look forward to.
Michael Grant
But you won’t abdicate.Of course not. It’s my duty to go on, to maintain the line. I can’t possibly fail in that. It’s as if you and I were throwing a ball back and forth to establish a record and had been doing so for a millennium. You cannot drop a ball that has remained airborne through good effort for most of a thousand years. You cannot stop an unlikely heart that has been beating for so long. I would rather die than betray continuity, for its own sake if for nothing else. And Britain needs a king, just as it needs motormen and cooks and a prime minister. Just as it needs soldiers who will die for it if they must. It’s my job, or it will be, but you should know that I’ve never wanted it. I was only born to it, as if with a deformity, to which I hope I can respond with grace.Fredericka had been running her finger over the carpet, tracing a pattern in the way children do when they have learnt something overwhelming and are moved, but cannot say so. Freddy expected her to look up, with tears and that in this moment she might have begun the long and arduous process of becoming a queen. She was so beautiful. To embrace her now, with high emotion flowing from her physical majesty, was all he wanted in the world. Her finger stopped moving and she turned her eyes to him.Freddy?Yes? he answered.What’s raw egg? I read a recipe in She that called for a cup of raw egg. What is that?After a long silence, Freddy asked, Which part of the formulation escapes you? Egg? Raw? The link between the two?The two what?Fredericka?Yes, Freddy?Would you like to go dancing?Oh, yes Freddy!Come then. We will.
Mark Helprin